Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Mrs. Blog o’ Stuff, myself, and another couple caught Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on Sunday night at the best movie theater ever.* I thought the movie itself was OK, maybe better than Temple of Doom but far short of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Then again, Raiders is probably one of my top 5 films of all time, so I wasn’t expecting Crystal Skull to be as good as that film. I went in with lowered expectations, so perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it as much as I did. Either that or the beer.*

In some respects, the movie captured the fears of the era – Commies/Communism and Aliens, but the execution was slightly off. I also have to say, unlike many film trailers, the trailer for Crystal Skull didn’t give away too much of the film. My biggest problem was that in the three other Indy movies, Indy took charge and led the expeditions. Here, he seemed more a passenger on the ride. That and he found the plot device – the Crystal Skull – much more quickly than the other plot devices in the previous films. On the one hand it seemed a little too easy, but on the other finding the object wasn’t the quest of the move as much as returning it was. I also though Shia LaBeouf did a pretty good job, which surprised me especially after that piece of garbage Transformers where all he seemed to say was “No no no no.”

So, was it worth the wait? It's been almost 20 years so maybe they should have waited that exact amount of time. Nonetheless, I think Indiana Jones films need to be seen on the big screen – the action in this one never stopped and there were some great effects. Ever since (and probably before, but I hadn’t really noticed until then) The Phantom Menace Lucas seems utterly obsessed with chase scenes. That is fairly evident in Crystal Skull. I will see the movie again if for no other reason to see how much I enjoy the film without the assistance of my friends from the Yuengling family, but probably not in theaters. A number of people will not buy into the plot device (which was the case with Mrs. Blog o’ Stuff), but like the plot devices in the entire franchise, it it is otherworldly. In the end, it was a fun ride but something that could have been more.

*The Cinema Cafe Pizza Special - $25.75 includes 2 movies tickets (Adult, Child, or Senior), large pizza, pitcher of beer or soda which is also available for all showings. How can you beat that when a standard multiplex theater charges $8-$9 for one ticket?!

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